Molcajete. I Just Got One.
So I've been looking for a molcajete for a little while after seeing Rick Bayless make salsa and assorted other things in his.
So I'm down at my In Laws and noticed a little Mexican store on the side of the road. I went in and the only one they had was sitting on the desk. Obviously the owners. I asked if it was for sale and was told no but they pointed to some other mortar and pestles. Not what I was looking for but the first one was. Volcanic rock and a real nice size. So I asked where I could get one and they said they could order one. Problem is, I leave first thing tomorrow morning.
I asked how much if they ordered one and she said $15 - 18. So I offered her the fresh, crisp new $20 in my pocket for her's that was sitting there. Score!!
So, it's been used obviously. It has a bit of green stain to it and it smells like a garlic/oregano paste has been made. Do I wash it out or just pick right up where she left off. My thinking is to wash it off. I understand that I don't use a detergent, just warm water.
Anyone got any good ideas about what I can do with it. Other than grind spices and try to make salsa without getting tomato pulp all over the place??
I'd wash it without soap, maybe scrub with a brush and leave in the sun to dry. By the way, when I returned from Mexico in January, molcajetes were listed among the prohibited carry on items (along with guns, knives, box cutters et al)!
Agree to wash without detergent, just give it a good scrub, and then you could squish your own garlic and herbs in to season it to your preferences or not. She has actually probably done you a favor by getting it all nicely seasoned for you.
A delicious use for molcajete is to make some delicious spicy uncooked pureed salsa, put the molcajete bowl side down on a burner on High for about 20 mins, it will get nice and blazingly hot and hold the heat in, put the salsa in the bottom, then layer cooked shrimp, seared beef, tomatoes, green onions, charred white onions, crumbled queso fresco,,,let your imagination be your guide and serve like that...the molcajete keeps everything warm and also brings the salsa flavor to everything. Deeeelish! Excellent with home made tortillas! this is not a great picture but shows the idea.
You're lucky to get a molcajete that's already "seasoned." When I bought mine a year or so ago, I had to rub it with rice on the inside, using the tejolote, to get all of the loosened stone out.
I use mine for making salsas and also for guacamole. It's great for mashing the avocado to just the right consistency. I clean mine using a stiff vegetable scrub brush and water -- no soap.